COUNCILLORS questioned giving lower-paid staff more to bolster their retirement security when a new superannuation co-contributions policy was discussed at Mosman Park council last month.
“I say it’s absolutely irresponsible to vote for this when the costs are unknown,” councillor Zenda Johnson said.
Until now there has been no policy laying out how much extra is added to staff member’s contribution to their superannuation, after similar policies were deferred by previous councils in 2007 and 2016.
A policy adding more to retirement savings is regarded as a necessary way of maintaining and hiring new staff at councils.
Neighbouring Cottesloe, Claremont and Peppermint Grove councils all make extra payments if their staff choose to take more than the required amount from their salaries and put it in superannuation.
At Mosman Park, staff get a base 9.5 per cent contribution to their super from the council.
It was proposed an additional contribution of 0.5 per cent apply if the staff member added another 1 per cent of their salary, rising to 2 per cent if they chose 4 per cent.
“The current co-contribution rate discourages those employees on a lower salary to voluntarily contribute, and therefore those employees do not receive any superannuation co-contribution benefit,” a report said.
It said the financial implications of the proposed policy were uncertain, and it impact would be based on how many employees took up any offer.
Cr Johnson said the policy would be “an unlimited chequebook” when the council was exercising financial austerity.
She said it could cost up to $30,000, and it had to be in 2018-19 budget talks.
Cr Andrew Baird said he was hesitant to have the old practice and the new policy in con-currently operating.
However, Cr Andrew Maurice said the policy’s financial implications had been costed.
The policy was agreed, despite Crs Johnson, Baird and Jenna Ledgerwood voting against the proposal.